As we move closer to Christmas, students are looking forward to spending time with their families and participating in traditional Christmas activities. Ammon Richards, a freshman studying political science, remembers looking at Christmas lights with his family.
“We would always drive around and go look for Christmas lights, around in the neighborhoods and stuff like that,” Richards said. “We’ve kind of stopped doing that now that we’ve moved to New Jersey. There are just not many lights around like there was in California where we grew up. You could go to different neighborhoods all around us in Stockton and see huge displays of Christmas lights everywhere. You would have neighborhoods where the entire neighborhood would be lit up with lights. Alex Spanos was the guy who basically owned Stockton, and he had a huge, life-size Nativity set always up every year with spotlights down on it, and we would always drive over there to see the Nativity. There was always a church that had their lights synced up to a radio station that you could tune in to and listen to music as it was going around, and it was rock music, and it was pretty cool.”
Besides the popular Christmas lights tradition, caroling and chocolates are a part of the season’s cheer for Kelly Taylor, a junior studying automotive engineering technology.
“Our family is all very musically talented, and so we love to go and sing carols to our neighbors and to other people we feel so inclined by the Spirit to go sing to, and we also give them chocolates that we make ourselves,” Taylor said. “We have homemade recipes that are really good. Although I love to sing, the chocolate is my favorite. It’s special because it was actually passed down to us from my aunt, who taught us how to make the chocolates. I remember growing up, I was too young to learn how to make them, and I would just watch as my mom and my aunt would go at it, making hundreds upon hundreds of truffles, and I’d just look at them on the table, and it was just amazing to see the process. I thought it was really cool. It’s special to me because I don’t get to see my aunt and that side of my family much anymore because they’re always moving. It’s kind of a legacy.”
Other ideas for holiday traditions include The Elf on the Shelf, writing letters to Santa, baking cookies, reading “The Night Before Christmas,” making gingerbread houses, reading the story of Christ’s birth in the Bible (Luke 2:1-7 and Matthew 1:18-25), decorating a Christmas tree, making homemade ornaments and watching holiday movies.